There is so much information about pregnancy but not that much about postpartum. New parents can track their unborn child’s day-to-day progress during pregnancy, but once the baby is born, there is a huge blank about what to do. The whole process can be overwhelming for someone going through it alone. Here are six pointers to help you during the transition to motherhood.
- Have patience
The first few weeks will be a blur. You’ll be operating like a zombie. Your baby may constantly be crying or waking up after every hour, preventing you from getting adequate sleep. Be patient. This phase will be over soon. It may seem hard at the moment, but he will get the hang of life outside the womb. Enjoy the snuggles and contact sleep as you wait it out.
Additionally, try to find out why he is crying. It might be because of gas or a reaction to something you are ingesting, like dairy. Understanding your baby will make the journey less stressful.
- Accept help from your support system
Quit trying to do everything by yourself. It is easy to burnout if you take care of the baby and do all the chores at home. You will be at risk of becoming depressed or having postpartum rage. Instead, accept help when someone volunteers. You can specify the kind of help you need, like help with preparing food, doing laundry, cleaning the house, or someone watching the baby as you grab a nap. Accepting help is not a sign of weakness. It benefits both you and the baby.
- Do what works for the baby
There is so much information online and on social media regarding how to raise your baby. Consuming this information and trying to incorporate it may be frustrating to both you and your baby. Ignore it all and focus on what your baby likes. Does she like to feed constantly? Is it nursing before a nap? Does she like being held as she naps? Do it. The newborn period passes fast, and she will outgrow it. Why not enjoy the snuggles and bond with the baby? You will not spoil your baby by doing what she enjoys.
- Take it a day at a time
I’m sure you’ve heard this statement severally. Inadequate sleep may seem like a never-ending battle right now. Don’t let it get to you. It does get better. Your baby will sleep for several hours with time. For the moment, accept it and start each day anew. Each day is an opportunity to enjoy bonding and snuggling with your little one.
- Your baby is unique
Do not compare your child to anyone. He is unique. Raise him as such. Comparisons may cause stress and undue expectations to you and your little one. He will achieve milestones on his own time. Ask your doctor any questions that may be stressing you regarding the baby’s behavior or development instead of listening to or reading the development stories of strangers online. Your baby is his own person and will do some things differently. Let that not alarm you. Accept him for who he is.
- Alone Time
It is okay to take some time to care for yourself. Alone time will help you recharge. Set aside time to shower, drink your favorite beverage, walk, write, or do something that you enjoy doing. Alone time will help you maintain your sanity as you take care of the baby. It also benefits the baby since you will go back to her happy and recharged. Therefore, you are not selfish to want some minutes alone.
Postpartum can be challenging for some mothers. There is no script or manual about what you need to do to make the journey bearable. However, these six tips can make that period manageable. Remember, you are not alone and that this is just a period that will soon be over.